Online v/s Traditional- Which Computer Science Degree is Right for You?


Online v/s traditional computer science degrees are the most debated topics these days for the kind of quality and scope for improvement they have. With technology spreading its authority in every field, it also has its scope in education. These certifications that are fetched by students are subjected to both their theoretical and practical experience.

However, the Bureau of Labour Statistics has mentioned that there is expected to be a 20% rise in career opportunities by 2030 according to the latest surveys conducted. All this being said, a computer science degree is considered a mandate for almost every job that is offered through the IT industry these days.

Key Differences Between an Online v/s Traditional Computer Science Degree

Here are some of the main differences between an online v/s traditional computer science degree that you should be knowing:

Point of DifferenceOnline CS DegreeTraditional CS Degree
Mode of communicationOnlineIn Person
Joining PrerequisitesHigh school/ diploma certificates for undergrads. Bachelor’s degree for graduates. Some onsite traditional CS degrees accept students who’ve only physically enrolled in their respective centers.
Fees and deductionsEligible for discounts based on offers.Fixed tuition rates.
Additional fees incurredTexts, PDFs, space rents, laptop costs, and internet costs.Textbooks, devices, travel costs, parking, food, and accommodation costs.
Amount of guidanceMinimal guidance for fixed hoursModerate guidance with a bit of extension.
Access to guidance beyond working hoursYes, but not all faculties may be available all the time.More extended assistance is offered.

Benefits and Limitations of an Online Computer Science Degree

An online computer science degree is a great choice but with its limitations and benefits. Here are some of the dull and bright aspects of an online degree highlighted:


 Perception v/s reality

One of the major benefits of an online computer science degree is that you get to understand the differences between your perception and reality. The recorded or live classes provided by the institutions and faculty come with more interactive sessions. These sessions offer an opportunity for in-depth learning through live explanations and examples.

Flexible class hours

Learning at your convenience is something that you’ve always wished for as a student, right? By doing an online computer science degree you’re entitled to pause, restart, or repeat as much as you want. Another added benefit is that you also get to reschedule your classes based on your levels of exigency.

Plenty repeats available

There is room for as many repeats as you want for an online computer science degree. If the classes are live, you can record them on your device and rewatch them for a better understanding. Even better, if the courses are pre-recorded, you’ll have all the priority to rewatch or revisit the sessions you just finished.

No note-taking frenzy

The best part of an online computer science degree is that you don’t have to hurry for the notes or the important points. It’ll all be saved in your folder for your access for a longer period. Moreover, most online computer science degrees have sessions for knowledge testing, quick recaps, quizzes, and Q&A making it livelier and interactive.

Enough learning resources

By opting for an online degree, you’ll have access to many formats of the same lessons such as audio, sound bytes, PDFs, short notes, and integrated notes that your trainers or teachers provide. Also, you get to see them all in one place saving you a lot of time from making copies or during preparation for tests or exams.


While online computer science degrees sound great, they also have a few limitations such as:

Technical glitches

While online computer science degrees are always preferred by students, technical glitches are one of the biggest nightmares to stay away from. Lack of good internet services, poor bandwidth, connectivity issues, range issues, and weather changes can cause the sessions to get unclear or halfway stopped. Hence, it is important to have backup connections and to get them checked before starting.

Space constraints

Though computer science degrees make you privileged by offering flexible classes, you might as well face issues with space constraints on your devices. Sometimes, the recorded classes, assignments, and notes may take up more space than expected unless you’re using a top-end device that offers you a decent amount of storage. This is something you don’t need to care about in physical sessions.

No hands-on experience

While you’d find yourself immersed in your online computer science degree, you’ve also compromised something. This is nothing but the hands-on experience on different programs or tasks you’d be assigned in a physical classroom. Also, you would have been assisted by a professor or a teacher to enhance your experience with clarifications.

Unavailability of staffs

Though you may sign up for an online computer science degree, remember it’s always a two-way course. You would be paying for a course with a certain duration or hours in most cases. In such cases, the availability of the teachers or trainers also matters more. When the tutors are unavailable, there comes a gap between the sessions which affects the learning of the candidate.


Distractions are unavoidable factors when you choose an online computer science degree. These could be noises from the surroundings or space constraints which make it difficult to manage the sessions. In comparison, attending a physical session would seem much more fruitful where there would be fewer distractions or constraints.

Things to know before doing a Computer Science Degree

Here are some things that won’t be told to you before getting a computer science degree:

1. Not everything would be taught you as you’ve assumed the course to be.

2. Learn to monitor your progress through online tests and assessments on a timely basis.

3. Focus more on the technical aspect than the theoretical side.

4. Plan for a group course if possible, which would reduce the chances of dropouts.

5. Learn at your pace, but keep the period in your mind.


An online or traditional computer science degree, whichever is chosen by you has its importance in your career growth. Therefore, while making a choice, make one that would count as beneficial and provide you an accelerated uphill career, with better salaries.


1. Is an online computer science degree worth it?

Yes, an online computer science degree helps you hone your skills and knowledge, making it worthwhile.

2. Is it better to learn computer science online or in person?

It is always better to learn computer science online as it gives you the privilege to learn at your own pace, keep the classes recorded, and get the lessons reiterated as and when you want to.

3. Is an online CS degree equal to a physical one?

Never, an online CS degree is much more valuable than a physical one with certifications from many seminars, workshops, and online lessons.

4. Does CS have a lot of math in it?

While CS doesn’t have a lot of math in it, a basic knowledge of math can help you do the program better analytically.

5. How many hours do CS students have to learn every week?

Most online classes say that CS students must undergo at least 19 to 32 hours of studies every week.